Europe’s Wind Industry Is Stumbling When It’s Needed Most

These should be great times to be in the wind energy business, especially in Europe. Governments here have long promoted offshore wind projects, and those efforts have accelerated since Russia started cutting natural gas shipments in its war against Ukraine, the New York Times reported. “We need clean, we need cheaper and we need homegrown power,” Ursula von der Leyen, the European Union president, said in August. But Europe’s wind turbine makers, the crown jewels of the region’s green energy industry and a source of manufacturing expertise, are reporting losses and laying off workers. Their problems stem partly from lingering supply chain issues and competition from Chinese manufacturers, and the issues could ultimately hinder Europe’s, and even the world’s, ambitions to quickly develop emission-free energy sources. This month, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, a Madrid-based company that is the premier maker of offshore wind turbines, reported an annual loss of 940 million euros ($965 million). The company has announced a cost-cutting program that is likely to lead to 2,900 job losses, or nearly 11 percent of its work force. Vestas Wind Systems, the world’s largest maker of turbines, recently reported a loss of 147 million euros (about $151 million) for the third quarter. General Electric, a large maker of wind turbines in the United States and Europe, has also struggled in its clean energy businesses. The company said last month that its renewable energy unit was likely to record $2 billion in losses this year. Read more.
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